Luanda, Angola one of the fastest developing cities in Africa

mali Luanda’s harbor front in the evening

When Angola gained its colonial independence in 1975, its capital city of Luanda had a population of 400,000. Since then, the city has grown more than tenfold. With a population of more than five million, Luanda is the third-largest portuguese-speaking city in the world (behind only Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo) and is quickly becoming one of the capitals of modern Africa. Thanks to rich natural resources, improving infrastructure, and booming construction, Angola’s capital has become one of the leaders in the advancement of Africa, and an important city on a worldwide scale.

Booming Economy

Since the end of the Angolan civil war in 2002, Luanda has enjoyed a period of stability accompanied by remarkable economic expansion. Thanks to it’s exceptional harbor, the city has always been a major exporter of Angola’s natural resources, including rich mineral deposits and the valuable offshore oil fields on the country’s Atlantic coast. Recent investment in these resources by Petroleum companies like Total have only made Angola’s trade more efficient (and lucrative), and given the country one of the world’s fastest-growing GDPs.

Luanda's oil service center Angola is one of Africa’s leading exporters of oil

The city’s decade of economic growth has been accompanied by dramatic development, with the initiation and completion of numerous large-scale construction projects, including a major highway and an international airport, orchestrated by Brazilian company Obredecht. These projects, largely fueled by foreign investment, give a sense of the city’s truly international profile, as well as showing the confidence of investors in Luanda’s continuing development.

Overcoming Obstacles

Such dramatic growth, however, does not come without issues. Among the difficulties Luanda faces in its development are poor infrastructure and serious overcrowding, as a city originally built for 400,000 inhabitants now holds ten times that many. It’s an especially positive sign for Luanda’s future, then, that these problems are now being addressed. Thanks to fiscal resources from Angola’s strong economy and a recently expanded role for Luanda’s provincial government, more attention is being given to these issues. Numerous projects are now underway to improve the city’s infrastructure, including the development of an airport, and cleaner tap water.

Pierre Falcone at KilambaPierre Falcone, President of Pierson Capital, at the site of the Kilamba development

Furthermore, international businesses like Odebrecht and Pierson Capital group are undertaking large-scale projects that will address the overcrowding. The company’s president, Pierre Falcone, played a major role in securing vital investments is from the China International Trust, and is just one of many high-profile businessmen to invest in the growth of Luanda. Pierson Capital is now overseeing the construction of major housing developments around the city, like Luanda 2 and Kimbala, which by 2015 will have 200,000 inhabitants, 240 businesses and 17 schools.

With such positive development accompanying it’s economic strength, Luanda’s future seems very bright indeed. As the capital of one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, it’s sure to become one of the Continent’s leading cities and can serve as a model for development across the continent as a whole.

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Infrastructure Development Necessary in the Maghreb

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March 14, 2013 – Two years and two months ago, the people of the Maghreb showed that they had had enough of the socio-economic conditions that were crippling the region. It began in Tunisia with their revolution, then spread like wildfire, igniting revolutions driven by hope of a secure political and economic landscape that would bring them out of the mess that their governments had created. Just over two years later, Tunisia is no longer at war, but the political and economic landscape is far from stable because nothing concrete has been done to ameliorate the collective situation of its people.

While the Tunisian politicians debate which party will have the most power, governmental structure, and whether or not they will officially be Islamic, the people who fought the revolution are being made to wait. Since the politicians are preoccupied creating the structure, it is up to the private sector to create the body that will occupy it when it is ready. Public works projects should be the first step in bringing Tunisia, and its revolutionary counterparts across the region, back to stability. It will supply jobs for civilians of all socio-economic situations, while providing immense benefits to the people and easing unrest.

“Preparing to welcome 200,000 people within three years, Kilamba has become one of the largest development projects in Africa…”

Since the economic situation in these areas is perilous, they may need to call upon foreign investors to aid them in accomplishing these projects. Pierre Falcone and Pierson Capital, an investment firm based in Chicago, funded the trans-maghreb highway in 2010. They have also taken the lead in the creation of an entire city called Kilamba outside of the capital of Luanda. By following this example of foreign direct investment, it will be much easier for these (and any recovering or developing country) to jumpstart their economies, and in politically charged areas like the Maghreb, appease the masses calling for progress. After two years of turmoil, if the population continues being denied any concrete progress, the government is liable to fall once more in favor of the chance that a new regime could provide it.

Although it may be up to private companies to take up the mantle, the governments of the Maghreb have significant pull over such corporations, as they have the ability to write policies that would make it more advantageous to build in their country than in others. If businesses see that building in North Africa is a good investment with favorable policies towards foreign investors, they are infinitely more likely to choose it as the location of their next project but it is up to the governments to choose the right path that will take their country out of the muck and towards a prosperous future.

Inauguration of the Mahabo-Morondava section of the RN35 highway

April 21, 2012 in Morondava, Capital of the Menabe Region, Andry Rajoelina inaugurated the rehabilitation of the Mahabo-Morondava section highway 35. To kick off the inauguration, a foot race of “solidarity and unity” was held. Andry Rajoelina joined the race with the local youth and political representatives as wells as famous athletes Rosa Rakotozafy, Augustin Ravaolahy and Jean de la Croix Mahatana. The route was 7km from the airport to the site of the ceremony in Morondava.

The festitivites continued with two popular singers of the island, Jerry Johns Marcoss and Farah. During his speech, Rajoelina thanked the international partners who have entrusted him to complete this project of public interest. The President recalled his visit on Sept. 21, 2010 when he pledged to take steps to rehabilitate roads in the area and expressed his pride and hope for economic avail,

“… I promised to rehabilitate the RN 35. Together we have a challenge and now we have achieved that goal. With several attractions such as Belo sur Mer, Akevo and Baobab Alley, Region Menabe is bound to have major advantages for the economic development regionally and nationally…”

The head of the Menabe Region, Faharo Ratsimbarison spoke and commended Rajoelina, “this day of 21 April 2012 is a day of truth. President Rajoelina has promised to rehabilitate this section of road between Morondava and Mahabo and he kept his promise. Since the beginning, we chose to follow the same route that the President of the Transition and we will continue.”

Source: MadagascarTribune, Andry Rajoelina Official Site

Andry and Mialy Rajoelina plant seeds for the first annual National Reforestation Day

For the first National Reforestation day, Andry Rajoelina accompanied by some government ministers, assisted in the planting of over 4500 seedlings of five different varieties. The selected varieties are fast-growing woods particularly suitable for the industrial needs of the country. The three samples of rosewood, 50 peronias, 500 ravintsaras, 1000 and 3000 Acacia mangiumeucalyptus were planted Andranovelona, a village in the district Ankazobe west of the capital. Rajoelina commented that the planting of trees is an environmental movement that will be sustained for future generations:

Madagascar has nearly 20 million inhabitants, if we each plant at least one tree per year, the country will increase by 20 million new trees per year. We must educate our friends and neighbors to join this action to provide a better environment to our future children.”

Source: Andry Rajoelina Official Site

The Troika to evaluate Madagascar’s steps of transition


Gert Grobler, the South African Ambassador of Madagascar

The Troika, a segment of the SADC, will measure the steps for the implementation of the Roadmap and is expected to vote on the differences between the signatory entities. Gert Grobler, the South African Ambassador or Madagascar, stated, “All steps taken will be reviewed, not just amnesty,” responding indirectly the the Ravalomanana dispute. The task of the Troika is to mediate disagreements within the regime on the application of provisions of the document intended to govern the transition. The meeting will also set the tone of the Government Council on April 24th to discuss the provisions of the Roadmap, including whether or not the “unconditional” return of political exiles will be allowed. There is discrepency between the parties on whether or not this is necessary. “We realized what he had to be done. All institutions are set up, with the exception of the Committee for the Malagasy fampihavanana and Special Electoral Court,” added Rakotomavo Lanto, vice president of the CST and president of the Tanora Malagasy Vonona party (TGV).

Source: All Africa

Technical Failure of Air Madagascar’s newly acquired Airbus340

Air Madagascar’s newly acquired Airbus340 experienced technical difficulties before its first scheduled flight on April 17th. Fortunately, the failure was quickly detected, repaired and ready for flight 24 hours later. The General Director of Air Madagascar, Jean François Richard, explained,

“It was a rare but common fault. The part that was faulty does not exist in Madagascar, so it was had to be brought from Madagascar… the A340-300 is ready to resume operations.”


First passengers aboard the Airbus340

Video of the inaugural ceremony on April 12, 2012

Source: Madagascar Tribune